Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reflection of Course

Reflection of Course
 This course was really user friendly and we had a many resources that we could refer too that were very helpful along the way.
The videos were insightful, as they set us up and paved the path for the direction we were going. I enjoyed watching the videos  from the administrators, sharing what they thought action research was, how they used it and how valuable it was.
The discussion boards were very helpful. It’s always nice to be able to communicate and learn from those who are on the same journey as you. There was a few times, i felt lost, and then reading the discussion boards would help me to put things into perspective.
The weekly conferences, I found to be very helpful and really put a more personable stamp on the course. I learned so much from these. Even when I could not attend, I would always watch the recordings. In these conferences, a lot of questions were answered.
Of course, the assigned readings were very helpful. Reading the assigned chapters explained everything and brought to light what action research really was and how useful it is to use a s a leader and even a as teacher!!!
The blogs were also very informative and really fun to create and build. I enjoyed reading other people’s blogs and learning. Creating this blog was also another way to communicate with those who are on the same journey as yourself. 
I learned so much in this course and am eager and excited to see the results of the action research projects. I am sure this will prove to be a very valuable lesson and tool for continuous learning.

Research Plan

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reflecting on Week 2

When I first learned we were going to partake in conducting  action research, my gut was instantly filled with dread as there were so many questions about what I would choose. Understanding that the field of education is dynamic, I decided that I would meet with my  principal to brainstorm some current topics of concern at our campus. When I left the meeting, I had some great ideas, but was still undecided.  Then it dawned on me,  I was already in the process of action research. Realizing this and seeing I was at the inquiry stage, it began to become so much more clear to me. I decided to pick some ideas that were relevant and practical to me. I chose the topic of Block Scheduling and the Effects of the Campus. I look forward to this research and all the valuable  experience  earned in the process!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Can Block Scheduling Improve Student Achievement in Middle Schools?

My subject for action research will be to study the benefits and drawbacks of block scheduling in the middle school. Some guiding questions I will use through the process of research will be as follows:

Which classes would benefit most from being blocked and why?
Will block scheduling increase student achievement?
Will block scheduling improve school climate?
Will block scheduling help to improve discipline issues?
What type of effect will this have on teachers?
How would this affect the campus?

Research in this particular area, could not only serve the students academically, but the campus as a whole. The goal of block scheduling is to lengthen instructional time in classrooms, therefore, seeing a higher rate of student achievement across the board in core subjects.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What is action research?

Action research, in the educational field, is a type of reflective inquiry. It is a type of inquiry that is meant for finding a solution to a particular problem or serve as a means of answering a particular curiosity. Action research is a way of taking charge of the ever changing demands of schools, educating one's self further , and continuously developing professionally. As one begins the process of action research, they must start with a question or particular problem, gather data, and decide on a course of action. So where would a leader or instructor begin? Administrators and teachers are faced with issues daily, the principal could conduct a survey among his staff, issues could be addressed during team leadership meetings, professional learning communities and district meetings. Collaboration between administrators and instructors plays a crucial role in this quest for knowledge. During these school wide collaborations and through other means of research is where, hopefully, answers reveal themselves, and then a plan of action is decided upon and takes place. The goal of action research is to  make a positive impact on student's lives and their education!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leaders and Blogging

Leaders can use blogs for various reasons. Blogging gives the leader a voice and an opportunity to reflect and share what's working and what's not, or simply to address concerns. Blogging is an effective use of technology to communicate; this can be a means or bridging the gap of communication between the community, parents, and staff. Furthermore, these blogs may help to create and foster a sense of autonomy for all involved. Not only is blogging an ideal and effective tool for leaders in educational settings, but can also prove to be a very effective tool for teachers in the classroom. This technology will allow teachers to share and reflect on their experiences in the classrooms. Blogging can allow teachers from all over the world to share in personal and professional development, effective strategies, creating engaging lesson plans, and to keep informed of current or new instructional technologies or trends. Blogging can and should be used for a plethora of reasons.